Do Plumbers Make Good Money? Discover the Truth Here!


Career planning is an essential part of setting and achieving long-term goals. One of the biggest concerns for those entering the workforce or contemplating a career change is the earning potential of a particular profession. In this article, we will explore the topic of whether plumbers make good money. We will examine the tasks and responsibilities of a plumber, the earning potential of this career, and the advantages of pursuing a career in plumbing. Additionally, we will compare the earning potential of plumbing to other career options in the trade industry, and discuss the steps involved in getting started in a plumbing career. Whether you are considering a career in plumbing or looking for information on career planning in general, this article aims to provide useful insights into this field.

What do plumbers do?

Plumbers are skilled professionals trained to handle a wide range of tasks related to the installation, maintenance, and repair of plumbing and drainage systems. Some of the typical responsibilities of a plumber include:

  • Installing and repairing various fixtures, including faucets, sinks, toilets, and showerheads
  • Performing routine maintenance on plumbing systems to prevent leaks and other issues
  • Inspecting plumbing systems to identify any potential problems before they become major issues
  • Replacing damaged or worn out pipes, fittings, or other components in the plumbing system
  • Working with a variety of tools, including welding equipment, pipe cutters, and pliers
  • Collaborating with other professionals, such as electricians and HVAC technicians, to ensure that all systems are functioning correctly

Plumbers can work in a variety of settings, including residential homes, commercial buildings, and industrial sites. They play a critical role in ensuring that plumbing systems operate effectively, which is essential for the health and safety of the public.

How much do plumbers make?

The earning potential for plumbers can vary depending on several factors. Some of the variables that may impact a plumber’s salary include their level of experience, location, and the type of work they perform. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $55,160 in May 2020. The lowest 10 percent of earners in this field made less than $33,110 per year, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $97,170 per year. In general, plumbers who work in metropolitan areas tend to earn more than those in rural areas. Additionally, plumbers who work in specialized areas, such as medical or industrial settings, may earn more due to the specific skills and expertise required for those positions.

Advantages of becoming a plumber

There are several advantages to pursuing a career as a plumber, including:

  • High earning potential: As mentioned earlier, plumbers can earn competitive salaries, especially those with experience and specialized skills.
  • Job stability: Plumbing is an essential service that is always in demand, which makes it a relatively stable career choice.
  • Flexibility: Plumbers can work as employees for plumbing companies, or they can start their own businesses and work as independent contractors. This flexibility allows plumbers to set their own schedules and have greater control over their work.
  • Variety of work: Plumbers work on a wide range of tasks and projects, which means that no two days are ever the same. This variety can make the job more interesting and engaging.
  • Opportunity for career growth: As plumbers gain experience and develop new skills, they can take on more complex projects and move into management roles.

These advantages make plumbing an attractive career option for those who want a stable, lucrative, and engaging job in the skilled trades.

Other career options in the trade industry

While plumbing can be a lucrative career choice, it is not the only option in the skilled trades. Other jobs in the trade industry that offer high earning potential include:

  • Electricians: Electricians install and repair electrical systems in homes, businesses, and other buildings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for electricians was $56,900 in May 2020.
  • Carpenters: Carpenters build, install, and repair structures made of wood and other materials. The median annual wage for carpenters was $49,520 in May 2020.
  • Welders: Welders use heat and electricity to fuse together metal components in a wide range of industries, including construction, manufacturing, and transportation. The median annual wage for welders was $44,190 in May 2020.
  • Heavy equipment operators: Heavy equipment operators use machinery to move materials and perform tasks such as excavation and grading. The median annual wage for heavy equipment operators was $49,400 in May 2020.

It is worth noting that these careers require different skill sets than plumbing, and individuals interested in these fields may need to pursue additional training or certification. However, these jobs offer a range of opportunities for those interested in the skilled trades and can be a rewarding career choice for those who want to work with their hands and build things.

How to get started in a plumbing career

Here are some steps you can take to get started in a plumbing career:

  1. Research the requirements: The specific requirements for becoming a plumber may vary from state to state, so it’s important to research the regulations in your area. Generally, becoming a plumber requires completing an apprenticeship program and passing a plumbing exam.
  2. Complete an apprenticeship program: Many plumbers begin their careers by completing an apprenticeship program, which typically lasts 4-5 years. During this time, apprentices work alongside experienced plumbers and receive on-the-job training. Apprenticeship programs may also require some classroom instruction.
  3. Get licensed and certified: Once you complete your apprenticeship, you may need to get licensed and certified to work as a plumber in your state. The requirements for licensure and certification can vary, so research the regulations in your area.
  4. Gain experience: As with any job, it can take time to gain experience and build a reputation as a skilled plumber. Look for opportunities to work on a variety of projects and learn new skills to build your expertise.
  5. Consider advanced training: As you gain experience and develop your skills, you may want to consider pursuing advanced training to specialize in a particular area of plumbing. This can help you stand out in the field and potentially earn a higher salary.

By following these steps, you can start your journey towards a fulfilling and rewarding career as a plumber.

Interesting facts

Here are some interesting facts about whether plumbers make good money:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $55,160 as of May 2019.
  • This earning potential can vary based on factors such as location, union membership, experience, and more.
  • Plumbing can be a lucrative career path, with some plumbers reportedly earning six-figure salaries.
  • If you’re interested in other high-paying trade industry careers, check out our article on whether carpenters make good money.

By combining technical skills, hard work, and business savvy, plumbers can earn very good money. If you’re interested in a career with solid earning potential, consider exploring the world of plumbing!


How much do plumbers make per hour?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $26.54 as of May 2019.

What can affect a plumber’s salary?

Some factors that can affect a plumber’s salary include location, experience, union membership, licensure, and type of employer.

Do plumbers make more money with a union?

Union membership can offer plumbers better wages and benefits, especially in areas with strong union presence.

Is plumbing a stable career choice financially?

Yes, the demand for plumbers remains steady, and the occupation tends to be recession-resistant.

Is plumbing a physically demanding job?

Yes, plumbing can be physically demanding and requires strength, stamina, and dexterity.

Can plumbers work part-time?

Yes, some plumbers choose to work part-time or as independent contractors. However, most plumbers work full-time hours.

Is there room for career advancement in plumbing?

Yes, plumbers can advance to supervisory or management positions. They can also specialize in areas such as HVAC or fire protection systems to increase their earning potential.

How can I become a plumber?

To become a plumber, you typically need to complete an apprenticeship program, technical school, or community college program. Some aspiring plumbers also gain experience through on-the-job training.

How long does it take to become a plumber?

The length of time it takes to become a plumber can vary, but apprenticeship programs typically last four to five years.

Are there other high-paying trade industry careers besides plumbing?

Yes, careers such as welding, electrical work, and carpentry can also offer solid earning potential. Check out our article on whether carpenters make good money for more information.

Real experience

John always wanted to be a plumber. His father had been a plumber for 30 years and had always told John that it was a good job with steady work and decent pay. However, John’s uncle had always told him that plumbing was a dead-end job and that he would never make a decent living as a plumber.

Despite his uncle’s doubts, John decided to pursue a career in plumbing. He began working as an apprentice and quickly fell in love with the job. He loved the satisfaction of solving complex plumbing problems and the feeling of accomplishment when he fixed a broken pipe.

However, John’s early years as an apprentice were challenging. He often worked long hours for little pay, and he struggled to make ends meet. He was tempted to give up and pursue a different career path.

But John persevered. He continued working hard and gaining experience, and eventually, he became a licensed plumber. To his surprise, he found that he was making a good living as a plumber, much more than what his uncle had led him to believe.

Over time, John built a successful plumbing business. He had a team of skilled plumbers who worked under him, and he was able to take on increasingly complex projects. He found that he was earning more than many of his friends who had pursued more traditional careers.

In the end, John proved his uncle wrong. He showed that plumbing was a reliable and lucrative career path, one that allowed him to support himself and his family while doing work that he loved.


Becoming a plumber can be a wise career choice, offering many benefits, including good pay and job stability. As we have seen, plumbers perform a variety of essential tasks related to the installation, maintenance, and repair of plumbing systems. However, if plumbing is not the right fit for you, other career options, such as electricians, carpenters, welders, and heavy equipment operators, also offer high earning potential and job security. No matter which trade career you choose, having a solid plan in place and committing to continuous learning and skills development will be key to long-term career success.

If you want to learn more about other trades with high earning potential, check out our article on “Do electricians make good money?”.

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